Sydney / Living / Entertaining / Meal Prep: Slow Cooker Warm Beef & Mushroom Ragu Recipe

Meal Prep: Slow Cooker Warm Beef & Mushroom Ragu Recipe

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If you're like us and dread cooking, we have the perfect the slow cooker recipe for you.

Tom Haynes, the Executive Chef at Barangaroo House's Bea, calls this recipe his go-to if you have "a bit going on in the arvo and just want to come back to a meal that doesn't require too much messing about." 

For a soul-warming dinner that is fuss-free and flavoursome, try this slow-cooked beef and mushroom ragu for your next weekend meal prep.

Ingredients

  • 500g beef roasting rump 
  • 2 onions, diced 
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 stick celery, washed and sliced 
  • 1 large leek, just the white part, washed and cut into rings
  • 500g button mushrooms, washed and quartered
  • Few sprigs of thyme, picked
  • Few sprigs of rosemary, picked and chopped roughly
  • Sea salt, for seasoning
  • Cracked white pepper, for seasoning
  • 50g tomato paste
  • 500g tinned chopped tomato 
  • 500ml liquid beef stock
  • 4 tsp instant gravy
  • 1 tsp vegemite
  • 2 tsp siracha
  • 150ml red wine (optional)
  •  500g baby new potatoes, washed and cut into halves or quarters, depending on size 

Method

  1. To start, turn on the oven to 190°C.
  2. Dice the beef into 2cm cubes, season with salt and pepper and vegetable oil and leave aside.
  3. Put the potatoes in a pot, cover with water and season with a little table salt. Bring to the boil and simmer until the potatoes are just tender (about 15-20 minutes start to finish). 
  4. Once they are cooked, drain from the water through a colander and cool for 10 minutes. They will steam dry a little bit and start to crumble, this is what you want, the flakier they are, the crispier they will get.
  5. Spread the cubed beef out over a hot, oven-friendly pan and leave it to caramelise on the stove top. Don’t be too tempted to keep stirring the beef, the more you do, the less colour you will get. 
  6. After about 10 minutes, once the beef is beautiful and brown all over, remove it and place into a bowl for later. 
  7. Leave the fat and oil in the pan and add the mushrooms, stirring as needed. 
  8. In the meantime, bring a larger pot to the stove and get it on medium to high heat; add vegetable oil and onions, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring every few minutes. 
  9. Once soft, add the diced carrots and cook for a few more minutes. 
  10. Next add the leeks, celery and garlic and continue to cook for about 10 minutes. The mushrooms should now be golden brown so add them to the larger pot with the rest of the vegetables. 
  11. Pour the resting juices and the fats from the cooked beef over the potatoes and season with sea salt and a little vegetable oil. Add these potatoes to the original roasting pan and place into a 190°C oven for about 45 minutes. After that, turn your oven off and walk away! Trust me on this one.
  12. Add the meat, tomato paste, siracha, red wine, rosemary and thyme to the cooked vegetable ensemble, stir in the vegemite and instant gravy powder. 
  13. Cook out for about 5 minutes and then add the chopped tomato, cooking for another 15 minutes. Make sure you stir every 5 minutes so the veggies don’t stick to the bottom of the pan. 
  14. Finally, add the beef stock and bring to a simmer before transfering to your slow cooker. 
  15. Set slow cooker to AUTO so it cooks high for 2 hours and then low for another 2.
  16. As soon as you’re ready for dinner, turn the oven to 200°C and cook the potatoes for a final 20 minutes. 
  17. Serve with either some steamed kale, broccolini or sprouts or a couple of slices of crunchy sourdough with butter to really sop up all that awesome sauce. 

Tips & Tricks

  1. Make sure you set your oven to 190°C straight away, we want to be in and out on this one, time is precious!
  2. Don't forget this is slow-cooked for 4 hours. If you dice everything too small it will turn a little mushy.
  3. Wash as you go! This should take 1 hour from start to ‘’out the door’’!
  4. Beef roasting rumps are readily available in most supermarkets. You can get some that are already marinated with garlic and thyme – they’ll be a little more expensive, but they have done a little bit of the work for you.
  5. It is more traditional to use flour to dust your beef, but brands like Gravox are gluten-free, so you can satisfy a wider range of hungry friends or family. 
  6. For any leftovers, put it in the resealable sandwich bags when its cold and flatten it in the freezer. It lasts for a good few months in there and is easy to reheat with some mash or veggies for a delicious work lunch.

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